many of you have written to speak of my mother, to inquire how she is doing, after. she is a rock; have i ever told you that? my mother is one of the strongest people i know, who wavers not when storms are strong. again, today, i don't have much time to write. but i am drawn to photographs i took while down in alabama; this one was taken out at the beautiful little grace episcopal church out in the countryside, surrounded by shadows and trees. daddy's ashes are buried there, as are my brother ben's; two days after the service, we went back out to water graveside plants and have a quiet little picnic - as we so often did with daddy - in one of the many little nooks tucked back behind arbors and ivy covered walls. i want, one day, to purchase a lovely small bench and a flowering tree, to place at my family's gravesite, beside an old wrought iron fence. have i mentioned that daddy was buried on the day of a full flower moon? how fitting that was, how perfect for that nature loving poet of a giant man. on his grave, after his ashes were given to the earth, i placed a waxy, pearly white magnolia blossom. fragrant, so fragrant it was, the heady, lemony scent of so many childhood days.
so, back to that place we went, to be where we had left daddy's ashes just two short days before. it was so hushed there, in this place. it was so soothing, and serene. many of the old bricks of the paths and walls and fountains were purchased from my father's demolition and salvage company; they came from houses and buildings he tore down when the interstate came through. paths wind through leaves and vines, under dappled sunlight that dances across the mossy walk. footsteps are softened; the quiet is a welcome respite, always. always. the quiet is always there. now daddy is, as well.
i like to think back to the time i was there with mama, last thursday; i like to remember all the times i was there with the both of them, with mama, with daddy, walking quietly under the trees down winding old brick paths. there is a stone fox, curled up under the ferns, there are flowers that bloom into the gentle, hazy summer, all through lovely spring.
there is, right now, the odd low whir of 13 year cicadas, the sort that lie buried in the ground all those many years and come up together to the light to make a quick and short lived symphony.
their sound wound through the distant trees like some strange piece of machinery, a constant hum that made me think of leaded glass wings. i found those wings scattered everywhere; new wings, they were. new wings for my daddy. new wings.